Man is the foulest creature on this Earth. With his long legs and sweaty skin. His foul feet and beastly beard. It is Mermaid’s job to dispose of any and all that invade our waters. But of his “Woman”? We know little. Merely enough to seduce Man to his doom. We’ve no opinion on Woman. What, then, would Mother say if she heard I fell in love with one?
It wasn’t long ago I met her, alone on the rocks. I approached cautiously, unsure of what to do with this Woman. She saw me and gasped. I swam away.
The next day, she was there again. This time, with a strange little box. I had to know what it was, so I came close. Closer. Closer. I was on the rock beside her. She smelled funny, and I leaned close to sniff her hair. She turned towards me suddenly, surprised by my silent approach. She lost her balance for half a second and our lips met. I gasped. She gasped, I jumped in the water and swam off.
She was missing the next day.
And the next.
It was a week before she returned with the little box. It flashed when she held it up to her face and her finger pressed the top of it. Like she had a little piece of the sun inside it and she let it show for an instant whenever she wanted.
I approached slowly, the feeling of her lips on mine still lingering on my mind. She grinned when she spotted me, then brought the box to her face again. There was the flash of sun, and I was blinded.
But only for a minute. I came closer.
“What is that?” I asked, climbing on the rock.
“A camera,” she replied. “It takes pictures.” Camera! Mother had warned us about those! My eyes widened and I started backing away. “Please don’t go!” she said desperately. “I won’t take another picture! Promise! What’s your name?”
“Name?” I asked. “I’ve no name Man can speak.”
“No? Hm. How about Marina, then?” I shrugged.